Trudeau expresses ‘disappointment’ over Keystone XL in 1st phone call with Biden.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in his first chat with U.S. President Joe Biden since Wednesday’s inauguration, expressed disappointment over the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The two leaders spoke over the phone for around 30 minutes on Friday. It was Biden’s first conversation with a foreign leader since taking office.

The call was the first opportunity for Trudeau to express the country’s consternation over Biden’s move to cancel the pipeline, a decision that was made on the latter’s first day in office.

“The Prime Minister underscored the important economic and energy security benefits of our bilateral energy relationship as well as his support for energy workers,” read the readout of the conversation from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The move to scrap the US$8-billion pipeline project was one of many moves to rescind former approvals, policies and projects that were greenlighted by the former Donald Trump administration.

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The two leaders also discussed the topic of China, in which the prime minister brought up the cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — two Canadians detained there in what over what is widely believed to have been a retaliatory move against Canada’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.

During the chat, both leaders highlighted their main priority as that of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. The PMO said that collaboration on vaccines and the exchange of medical personnel and flow medical supplies was also discussed.

A senior government source told Global News earlier that the topic of climate change comprised of a large part of the conversation. Both the prime minister and the president addressed the “urgent” need for action on climate change, and agreed to work together to achieve net-zero emissions, according to the readout.

Both the prime minister and president also agreed to meet next month in order “to advance the important work of renewing the deep and enduring friendship between Canada and the United States.”

More to come…

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